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Old 11-12-2015, 12:00 AM   #1
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Seastar steering ram leaking fluid.

I noticed fluid under the SeaStar steering ram the other day and I felt the chromed ram and there was a pretty decent gouge in it.
I have no idea how it got there.
I haven't done any work in that part of the boat so I'm thinking it must have been there when I bought the boat over a year ago.
I'm thinking the last time I parked the boat the gouge must have been right at/on the seal and it leaked a bit.

Can you sand out the gouge with 2000 grit? Or am I better off just replacing the complete assembly?
I can purchase one for about $630.
You can see the yellow stain below the ram.
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:03 AM   #2
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Here is another pic...
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:17 AM   #3
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I've seen pitted shafts on those cylinders. Sucks, not much other option but to replace the whole thing. I think it is a galvanic thing if it gets wet and sits that way. Have not found a decent way to repair a pitted shaft economically.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:41 AM   #4
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Sea Star Ram

I have an aluminum one with a perfect Rod in it that I will likely never use. You could replace the rod and repack, or install the aluminum ram and keep the bronze as a spare.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:19 AM   #5
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I agree with SKI If your shaft is scored it's almost certainly toast. Mine leaked also but in my case the cylinder was scored. I put in a new seal kit & ended taking it apart several times attempting to stop the leak but no joy. If yours is as easy to get at as it looks I am green with envy. If you don't mind sharing can you advise where you got your price of $630.00

Note, Capilano & seastar are same cylinders in most cases. Your model # should be stamped on the blue sticker.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:53 AM   #6
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Thanks Gurryman

the model is BA150-7TM

Believe it or not, the best price was on Amazon. 2 day shipping too!
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:15 AM   #7
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Hi Tunajoe,

Being confronted by exactly that issue on my previous boat, my solution was to let the professionals inspect the shaft and advise you on whether or not to replace the assembly. You may be pleasantly surprised by the repair capabilities of a qualified hydraulics service facility. The major cost of your repair will be removal and replacement of the hydraulic ram, so doing that yourself saves $$. And, if you take the ram to a repair facility, and they can successfully save your rod, you've saved a bunch over the cost of replacement of the entire assembly.

Capilano and/or Seastar should be able to cough the name/number of a local repair facility. If not, try Redden Marine in Bellingham, WA. They did mine (twice), and are pretty good.

Attempting to disassemble the ram, R&R the rod, install new seals, and reassembly yourself is not usually successful, as the tolerances in a typical hydraulic ram are well beyond what the typical amateur boater can accommodate in his garage. So save the big bucks by unbolting the thing, hauling it to your local hydraulic shop (and it doesn't have to be a "marine" facility either. Hydraulics are hydraulics, whether in a low rider or aboard a boat), let them do their thing, and go from there.

Kind of a middle ground between trying to butch up a repair yourself, and simply throwing money at new parts. Kinda like boatwrights used to do in the old days.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:40 AM   #8
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Steering Ram Repair

The Seastar/Teleflex systems are low pressure, Less than 1000psi. These are easily repacked by someone familiar with the process. Gouges and Scores in cylinder rods can sometimes be micro polished out, and rods reused. I do all my own work so the cost of R&R may also affect your decision as how to repair.
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Old 11-12-2015, 11:52 AM   #9
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Mine was seized up, so I ended up replacing. I tried repairing it, but plastic bit on the rod that holds the seals was swollen. I maybe could have sanded it down, but just went with a new one. $580 plus shipping:

Teleflex HC5318 Inboard Cylinder-HC5318 Teleflex - Star Marine Depot
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:59 PM   #10
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I had mine resealed w new seals.
Didn't cost much.
Had it done at Harbor Marine in Everett WA.
Perhaps the rod can be removed from the piston.
My leaking was from the seal.
I think the sun got it hot too many times. It was open to the weather on the aft deck. I touched it when the sun was on it and was shocked at how hot it was. The tapered sealing nut on one end was leaking too. I cleaned and tightened and all has been well ever since.
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